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Kristin Laursen

Life as an Engineer – Jon Hilyard

By Engineer Life
Jon Hilyard, P.E. My dad was an engineer and he liked to say that being an engineer is about doing for a nickel what any fool can do for a dollar. I guess only an engineer would think that is a great sales pitch for being an engineer. But I think it is true. Being an engineer is not just about solving a problem. It is about finding the best, most elegantly simple solution. Life as an Engineer
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Life as an Engineer – Scott Siefkes

By Engineer Life
Scott Siefkes, P.E., LEED AP For me, being an engineer fits my personality. I like understanding how things work, why they work the way they do, and I like figuring out how they might work better. EE fits well in that it offers broad access to lots of different engineering problems, including how to make things operate with as little energy waste as possible. Plus there’s all the fame and fortune… Life as an Engineer
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Life as an Engineer – Jeff Ihnen

By Engineer Life
Jeff Ihnen, M.S., P.E. I went to a tiny rural-area school with no career planning.  I never heard of engineering in high school, but I took what came naturally to me my freshman year in college: calculus, physics, chemistry.  There I learned about engineering and that jobs are in high demand and the pay is great.  This is still very much the case and it always will be.  As a junior, I learned that the thermo-fluid sciences were all about output over input, which is, efficiency.  I’m also an efficiency nut in that I cannot look at a process or...
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man wearing glasses and blue dress shirt smiling for picture

Life as an Engineer – Zack Thompson

By Engineer Life
Zack Thompson, E.I.T. To me engineering simply means identifying a problem and finding a solution, i.e. problem-solving! This can be through designing or building something or through tweaking the way something already works. I don’t think someone becomes an engineer just through formal education. It’s the way someone thinks, either with a math and science oriented brain or through deconstructing and rebuilding just to see if they can fix a problem or understand the inner-workings. There are a lot more engineers in this world than the ones with the degrees, some of the best engineers don’t have the formal education....
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Life as an Engineer – Rob Parker

By Engineer Life
Rob Parker, P.E. I like to solve complex problems. I enjoy figuring out how things work and how to get from where I am to the end result. Engineering gives me the opportunity to do this every day. We take big problems and break them down into smaller ones on our way to big solutions. If you enjoy critical thinking, puzzles, math, and understanding what makes things tick, engineering is for you. What some engineers do with designing bridges, new gadgets, cars, tractors, airplanes, industrial processes, electronics, software, and satellites, we at Michaels do with energy use in buildings. Life...
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Life as an Engineer – Aaron Conger

By Engineer Life
Aaron Conger, P.E. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be an engineer. Well, that’s not quite accurate. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved solving problems and creating solutions. Word puzzles, math exercises… you name it, I love to dig in. Luckily I found out early on that there’s a whole field dedicated to solving hard problems: engineering. As I got older, I also became engaged in the ever-looming issues of energy efficiency and conservation. Imagine my delight when I found a company built on the intersection of these two passions! Michaels Energy is...
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Guest Post: I Get So Emotional, Baby

By Energy Rant One Comment
Sorry, it’s not Whitney Houston, or Jeff Ihnen, writing this week’s Rant. It’s Kristin Laursen filling in while Jeff puts his feet up, sips martinis, and listens to 90s love songs (at least two of the three of those are true). Last week in Jeff’s Rant, he told us that consumers rule and drive everything, and that we’re “notoriously bad at math and buy for emotional and other reasons.” I can personally attest to the bad at math part, but the buying based on emotions can be explained through behavioral economics. Behavioral economics gives us insight into human behavior to...
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Paris: The Bumbling Abominable Snow Monster

By Energy Rant 4 Comments
June 1, 2017.  Does that ring a bell?  To many, it is a day of infamy – the day Trump bid adieu to the Paris climate deal, accord, treaty, or whatever (Paris).  Since then, I have read many an article, LinkedIn posts, and Tweets filled with wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Was Paris that good?  Does anyone reading this know the details?  I decided to dig in and synthesize it to hors devours, which seems kind of French.  Right? The broad objectives of the agreement include three things: Hold temperatures to well within 2 degrees C relative to pre-industrial temperatures....
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Guest Rant – Marketing Gone Wrong…and Right

By Energy Rant No Comments
Guest blog alert! Kristin Laursen and Teri Lutz here, filling in for Jeff while he relaxes somewhere in the middle of Iowa, sipping martinis and riding tractors (for real, we couldn’t make this up). So if you disagree with anything in this Rant, you’ll have to wait until Jeff returns and take it up with him. ;) A common frustration in the utility industry, or any industry for that matter, is “why aren’t we hitting our targets?” In our industry, those targets can include any number of things, from customer interactions, to program participation, to impacts, and many things in...
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